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Scientists Spot Early Markers of Coronavirus in Lungs of Patients

U.S. researchers report they have spotted early, subtle signs in the lungs that point to coronavirus infection.

This could help doctors diagnose patients in the early stages of the disease, when it may not be obvious on lung scans, according to the Mount Sinai Health System doctors.

They say they're the first U.S. experts to analyze chest CT scans of 94 patients in China wit...

How Coronavirus Raced Through Quarantined Cruise Ship

The crisis aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan shows how germs can spread rapidly through air conditioning systems that can't filter out particles as small as the new coronavirus, one air quality expert says.

The quarantine ended last Wednesday, but not before the number of coronavirus cases reached 690 and three deaths were reported, according to the Asso...

Could 9 in 10 Cases of Dengue Be Prevented?

Scientists say that 90% of dengue cases could be slashed by artificially infecting mosquitoes.

Dengue viruses are spread to people by infected mosquitoes. But infecting the insects with Wolbachia bacteria blocks the dengue virus from replicating in mosquitoes and being transmitted between people, the international researchers said in a new study.

Wolbachia is found natur...

Drug Duo Speeds Regeneration of Key Cells Lost in Diabetes

A novel combination of two drugs appeared to spur faster regeneration of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, a preliminary study in mice and human tissue found.

Beta cells are crucial to making insulin, a hormone that's deficient in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

The new drug combo pairs an already approved class of type 2 diabetes medications called GLP-...

Will the Lights of Fireflies Be Extinguished?

There is little more magical than the glow of fireflies on a still summer night, but new research suggests that light pollution threatens firefly populations worldwide.

The other major dangers putting some of the more than 2,000 different species of fireflies at risk of extinction include habitat loss and pesticides, according to firefly experts.

There's been a huge increase...

CRISPR Gene Editing Creates 'Designer' Immune Cells That Fight Cancer

In a first, scientists have used gene-editing technology to create "designer" immune system cells that can fight tumors and survive for months in cancer patients' bodies.

It's a proof of principle, the researchers say -- and an early step toward bringing the gene-editing tool known as CRISPR into cancer treatment.

CRISPR allows researchers to precisely "snip" bits of DNA wit...

Labs Worldwide Working on Coronavirus Vaccine, But Rollout Could Take Time

A mad dash is afoot to craft a vaccine for the new coronavirus that's ravaging China and starting to spread across the globe, with possibly dozens of labs working on permanent protection against the pathogen.

Researchers say an effective vaccine could be created in a matter of weeks, using advanced techniques.

"We know enough. We can do this. We can actually make a vaccine i...

Psychedelic Drug Eases Cancer Patients' Distress Long Term

A single dose of the psychedelic ingredient in "magic mushrooms" may bring long-lasting relief to cancer patients who suffer anxiety and depression, a new, small study suggests.

Researchers found that of 15 patients who'd received a one-time treatment with psilocybin, most were still showing "clinically significant" improvements in anxiety and depression four years later.

Th...

Too Few Patients Enrolling in Cancer Trials

Enrollment in clinical trials that can potentially extend the life of cancer patients is too low, a new study finds.

Researchers at Penn State also found that white males with private health insurance and cancers that have spread, and who are treated at academic medical centers, are most likely to enroll in clinical trials.

Lead researcher Dr. Nicholas Zaorsky, of Penn Sta...

Making the Mummy Speak -- Or at Least Make a Sound

Nesyamun, an Egyptian priest who chanted hymns at the grand temple of Karnak in Thebes 3,000 years ago, has been allowed to speak once more.

Well, maybe not speak in full sentences: A British team has re-created the mummified Nesyamun's throat using 3-D technology, allowing it to utter a vowel they believe mimics how the priest sounded.

Here it is:

Largest-Ever Study Ties Over 100 Genes to Autism

More than 100 genes appear to be involved in autism spectrum disorders (ASD), according to the largest genetic study of the condition to date.

The study, involving over 50 centers around the globe, identified 102 genes associated with ASD -- including a few dozen that had not been recognized before.

Some of the genes are also associated with intellectual disabilities and dev...

Vesuvius Eruption Turned One Ancient Resident's Brain Into Glass

The cataclysmic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. created temperatures so hot that one poor soul's brain was transformed into glass, researchers report.

Archaeologists working at the site of Herculaneum -- the other city wiped out in the eruption, alongside Pompeii -- discovered small bits of black glass inside the skull of one of the victims.

Tests of the glassy materia...

Brain Waves Offer Insight Into Autism-Linked Sleep Struggles

Shallower-than-normal brain waves may play a role in serious sleep problems in children with autism, a new study suggests.

Previous research has shown that between 40% and 80% of children with autism have sleep issues, such as trouble falling asleep or waking frequently during the night and rising early. These problems can be significant challenges for the children and their f...

Researchers Alter Mosquitoes to Resist Dengue Infection

Mosquitoes that can't be infected by or spread dengue virus have been created by scientists.

The researchers genetically engineered the mosquitoes to be resistant to all four types of dengue, a mosquito-borne virus that's a significant global health threat.

This is the first time that mosquitoes have been genetically engineered to be resistant to all types of dengue, which c...

Targeted Ultrasound Destroys Cancer Without Harming Healthy Cells: Study

The research is still in its early stages, but scientists say they've developed a low-intensity ultrasound technique that kills cancer cells without damaging healthy cells.

Focused ultrasound is already used to destroy tumors, with most approaches using either high-intensity beams to heat and destroy cells or injected contrast dyes. But both approaches can harm healthy cells and contr...

New Heart Attack Treatment Shows Promise in Pig Study

A new compound might help stem the damage of a heart attack, research in animals suggests.

Giving recombinant human platelet-derived growth factor-AB (rhPDGF-AB) to pigs lessened the effect of heart scarring, helped form new blood vessels and reduced the rates of heart arrhythmias, heart failure and sudden cardiac death, researchers found.

"This is an entirely new approach,...

Clots in Space: Astronaut's Blocked Vein Brings Medical Insight

"Space medicine" took another small step forward after an astronaut who developed a blood clot in a neck vein was diagnosed and treated while onboard the International Space Station (ISS), physicians at NASA and elsewhere report.

The research team didn't reveal the astronaut's name, age or gender, but said the ISS crew member developed an asymptomatic thrombosis -- blood clot -- in th...

Experimental Drug Could Be New Option Against Arthritis

A new drug might be able to save a person's knees from the ravages of osteoarthritis, researchers report.

People taking the drug, code named MIV-711, had less bone and cartilage loss than others given a placebo.

"We know that bone slowly changes shape as knee osteoarthritis progresses," said lead researcher Philip Conaghan, a professor at the Leeds Institute of Rheumatic an...

More Doubt That Plaques in the Brain Cause Alzheimer's

For decades, scientists have known that Alzheimer's disease is accompanied by the buildup of clumps of amyloid protein between brain cells. Could these plaques be causing the disease?

That's been a prevailing theory driving Alzheimer's research for years. But a new study suggests the strategy could be wrong.

Researchers reporting Dec. 30 in the journal Neurology have...

Male Researchers More Apt Than Women to Hype Findings: Study

Male researchers are far more likely than female colleagues to claim that their findings are especially important, a new study says.

The language used to describe discoveries can affect how much attention researchers get and also affect their career advancement. These findings may help explain why women in medicine and science tend to get paid less and have fewer career opportunities,...

New Study Shakes Up Thinking on Hormone Replacement Therapy

The ongoing debate about postmenopausal hormone therapy and breast cancer risk may have turned even more muddy: A large, new study suggests that two different types of hormone therapy have opposite effects on women's long-term risk of the disease.

The researchers found that combined hormone replacement therapy (HRT) -- with estrogen and progestin -- increases the risk of breast cancer...

For Some, Follicular Lymphoma May Be Curable

Some patients in remission from the blood cancer called follicular lymphoma can be considered cured, a new small study suggests.

Using DNA sequencing, researchers were able to test the patients' blood to see if mutations that caused the cancer were still present two years after treatment. If these mutations aren't found, the patient can be given a clean bill of health, the study auth...

'Smart' Contact Lenses Might Also Monitor Eye Health

Eye doctors may someday use "smart" contact lenses to track patients' eye health, early research suggests.

A team of scientists in South Korea has packed incredibly small electronic circuitry, batteries and antennae into a soft contact lens. The goal: to monitor eyes for signs of vision trouble or help deliver medicinal eye treatments.

In what's called a "proof of concept" s...

How Well Are You Aging? A Blood Test Might Tell

Imagine a blood test that could spot whether you are aging too quickly.

New research suggests it's not the stuff of science fiction anymore.

The scientists analyzed plasma -- the cell-free, fluid part of blood -- from more than 4,200 people between the ages of 18 and 95, and found a link between 373 proteins and aging.

"We've known for a long time that measuring ce...

Study Casts Doubt on Use of Common Heart Failure Drugs

Millions of Americans with heart failure take one of the family of beta blocker medications to help ease the condition. But in many cases, could the meds be doing more harm than good?

A new study found that taking beta blockers was associated with an increased risk of hospitalization for patients with a certain form of heart failure.

It's commonly called the "stiff heart" su...

A Birth Control Pill You Take Just Once a Month?

Scientists have developed a method that might eventually allow women to take birth control pills just once a month.

In lab experiments, the researchers found that their tiny drug-delivery device -- contained within a gelatin-coated capsule -- worked as hoped: In pigs, it remained in the stomach, slowly releasing the birth control hormone levonorgestrel for up to one month.

M...

Gunshot Wounds Have Long-Term Health Consequences: Study

Emergency department patients treated for gunshot wounds to the chest or abdomen are more likely to wind up in the hospital again than those who have such wounds in other areas of the body, a new study finds.

The study included 110 patients with a history of gunshot wounds. Most were men, with an average age of 50. The patients were seen in the emergency department at Thomas Jefferson...

Experimental Injection May Protect Against Peanut Allergy

People with peanut allergy must be constantly vigilant to avoid a life-threatening allergic reaction. But researchers report that a new drug injection might offer at least temporary protection against the most severe reactions.

Just one shot of an experimental antibody treatment allowed people with severe peanut allergy to eat about one peanut's worth of peanut protein two weeks late...

Plants Will Not Boost Your Home's Air Quality: Study

Don't count on potted plants to keep your home's air clean.

Dispelling a common belief, researchers at Drexel University in Philadelphia found that natural ventilation does a far better job than houseplants in maintaining air quality in homes and offices.

"This has been a common misconception for some time. Plants are great, but they don't actually clean indoor air quickly e...

Long-Acting Birth Control in a Patch?

Researchers have developed a skin patch that might one day give women the ability to self-administer long-acting birth control.

The patch, which contains "micro-needles" absorbed into the skin, is seen as a possible alternative to current long-acting contraceptives. Those methods -- intrauterine devices (IUDs) and contraceptive implants -- are highly effective at preventing pregnancy....

Deep Sleep May 'Rinse' Day's Toxins From Brain

The deep stages of sleep may give the brain a chance to wash itself free of potentially toxic substances, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that during deep sleep, the "slow-wave" activity of nerve cells appears to make room for cerebral spinal fluid to rhythmically move in and out of the brain -- a process believed to rinse out metabolic waste products.

Those waste pr...

New Database Shows 'Rare' Diseases Are Not So Rare Worldwide

More than 300 million people worldwide -- or 4% of the population -- have a rare disease, a new study finds.

A disease is considered rare when it affects fewer than five in 10,000 people, according to a European definition.

Until now, it's been difficult to gauge how widespread rare diseases are. But a team led by a French research institute has analyzed the scientific l...

Can Medical Pot Ease Mental Ills? Study Says Probably Not

People struggling with anxiety, depression or other psychiatric problems shouldn't pin their hopes on medical marijuana, a new review suggests.

Dozens of studies involving more than 3,000 people did not provide compelling evidence that medical cannabis can help treat disorders of the mind, the review authors concluded.

"Cannabinoids are often advocated as a treatment for var...

How Giant Dinosaurs Evolved to Stay Cool

Giant dinosaurs, such as long-necked sauropods, evolved special cooling systems to prevent overheating and brain damage, according to a new study.

"Small dinosaurs could have just run into the shade to cool off, but for those giant dinosaurs, the potential for overheating was literally inescapable," said study co-author Lawrence Witmer, a professor of anatomy at Ohio University in Ath...

Humans May Possess Ability to Regrow Cartilage

Humans may lack the salamander skill of regrowing a limb, but a new study suggests they do have some capacity to restore cartilage in their joints.

The findings run counter to a widely held belief: Because the cartilage cushioning your joints lacks its own blood supply, your body can't repair damage from an injury or the wear-and-tear of aging.

And that, in part, is why so m...

Mummy's Curse: Heart Disease Is an Ancient Scourge

Scientists are taking the wrappings off an age-old malady.

Clogged arteries are a heart problem that's dogged humanity for millennia, finds a new imaging study of mummies.

Mummified arterial tissue shows evidence of cholesterol plaque buildup in people who lived anywhere from 2000 BC to 1000 AD, said lead researcher Dr. Mohammad Madjid.

These weren't just bigwigs ...

Carnivores' Comeback: Review Supports Red Meat in Diet

There's a lurking dread in the back of the minds of many people who love steak, burgers and bacon -- the fear that what they enjoy eating might not be doing their health any favors.

But a major new review argues that folks can set those fears aside.

Cutting back on consumption of red meat or processed meat will not significantly reduce a person's risk of heart disease or can...

A Surprising New Source of Omega-3s

There's no shortage of reasons to get your omega-3s, which are abundant in fish and their oils.

But high consumption of fish and their oils has created a shortage around the world. In addition, fish can be costly, and there are also concerns about toxins, like mercury, which affect many fatty fish to some degree. Since omega-3 fatty acids play a role in vision, brain health, reproduct...

Cancer Drugs Sometimes Work in Unexpected Ways: Study

Ten cancer drugs being tested in human clinical trials appear to work -- but not in the ways their developers thought they would, researchers say.

"The idea for many of these drugs is that they block the function of a certain protein in cancer cells. And what we showed is that most of these drugs don't work by blocking the function of the protein that they were reported to block," sa...

New Prosthetic Leg Can Feel Touch, Reduce 'Phantom Limb' Pain

After losing a lower leg, Savo Panic received a prosthetic limb that helped restore movement. But prostheses are imperfect, and he suffered tremendous "phantom" leg pain.

Now, European scientists say they've developed a technology that restores natural feeling and improves walking in patients who've had a lower leg amputation. The approach also eliminated phantom pain in Panic and red...

Experimental Drug Works Quickly on Major Depression

Antidepressants typically take four to eight weeks to ease the debilitating symptoms of depression, but an early clinical trial found a new type of drug brought relief in just two weeks.

"SAGE-217, once fully developed, has potential to offer relatively quick and clinically meaningful alleviation of depressive symptoms in patients with moderate to severe major depressive disorder," sa...

Just One Pill for All Your Heart Health Needs? It's On the Way

Imagine a single pill loaded with a battery of heart medications that you take once a day to cut your chances of heart attack, stroke and heart failure.

A new clinical trial has turned that idea into reality.

The "polypill" reduced the risk of life-threatening heart health problems by more than one-third during a five-year period in a group of more than 3,400 people aged 50 ...

CBD Is the Rage, But More Science Needed on Safety, Effectiveness

Everywhere you look, CBD products are for sale, and they may hold promise for treating chronic pain, opioid addiction and other conditions.

But a new review says more human clinical trials on the safety and effectiveness of cannabidiol (CBD) products are needed.

"There are many intriguing findings in pre-clinical studies that suggest CBD and hemp oil have anti-inflammatory e...

New Treatments Could Be Powerful Weapons Against Brain Tumors

New therapies are showing real promise in fighting the type of brain cancer that claimed the lives of Sens. John McCain and Ted Kennedy, a pair of new clinical trials shows.

One experimental treatment injects powerful genes directly into a brain tumor, and then uses pills to turn the genes on and off. That way, the genes can attack the cancer without going berserk and damaging other p...

Scientists Creating Gene Map of Human 'Microbiome'

The number of genes in bacteria that live in and on people could top 1 billion trillion -- and at least half appear to be unique to their host.

That mindboggling math comes from scientists at Harvard Medical School and Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston who have set out to map all genes of the human microbiome.

The research could reveal links between microbiome genes and human...

Scientists Uncover More Autism Genes

In a finding that underscores the major role genetics plays in autism risk, researchers report they have identified 16 new genes linked to the developmental disorder.

The investigators conducted genetic analyses of 2,300 people from nearly 500 families with at least two children with autism. Of the children in the study, 960 had autism and 217 did not.

The researchers pinpoi...

Americans' Trust in Scientists Follows a Sharp Political Divide

Americans' confidence in scientists is on the rise, but deep political divisions persist, a new nationwide poll reveals.

The Pew Research Center poll of more than 4,400 adults found that 86% have at least "a fair amount" of confidence in scientists to act in the public interest. That includes 35% who said they have "a great deal" of confidence, up from 21% in 2016.

...

New DNA Blood Test May Help Guide Breast Cancer Treatment

Could the DNA from a patient's breast tumor help doctors spot whether stray cancer cells are still in her blood?

That's what a small, new study suggests is possible. If the findings are replicated in a larger study, such a test might help determine whether a treatment is working or not. It also has the potential to reduce unnecessary additional treatments for breast cancer.

...

Researchers 'Spin' Clinical Trial Findings in Top Psych Journals: Study

Summary results of clinical trials published in top journals are often exaggerated, a new review charges.

The review says such spin -- exaggerating the clinical significance of a treatment without statistics to back it up -- is common in abstracts published in leading psychology and psychiatry journals. And the authors warn it could be dangerous, because the abstracts could affect doc...

Blood Test May Spot Brain Changes of Early Alzheimer's

A simple blood test helped pinpoint the early signs of Alzheimer's in a new study.

Up to two decades before people develop Alzheimer's symptoms such as memory loss and confusion, harmful clumps of amyloid beta protein begin to accumulate in their brain, researchers explained.

But it's possible to measure levels of amyloid beta in the blood and use that information to determi...